Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cranberry Recipes Liven up Holiday Tables, Gifts

The holidays are here. During this busy season, it’s easy to forget to add a few people to your shopping list. But don’t fret. There is always time to whip up a last-minute, homemade treat anyone will love to receive, says a University of Georgia food expert.

“Homemade gifts tell someone you care enough to put some time and creativity into giving,” says Elizabeth Andress, the director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation and specialist with the UGA Cooperative Extension.

Here are two cranberry recipes from the canning guidebook “So Easy To Preserve.”

Cranberry Orange Chutney
• 24 ounces fresh whole cranberries
• 2 cups chopped white onion
• 2 cups golden raisins
• 1½ cups white sugar
• 1½ cups packed brown sugar
• 2 cups white distilled vinegar (5 percent)
• 1 cup orange juice
• 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
• 4 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
• 3 sticks cinnamon

This recipe is a great side dish or condiment for turkey, chicken or pork. It makes eight half-pint jars of jellied chutney.

Start by washing the jars. Keep them hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

Rinse cranberries well. Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until cranberries are tender. Stir often to prevent scorching. Remove cinnamon sticks and discard.

Fill the hot chutney into the clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims with a damp paper towel. Apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process them in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Time may need to be longer at high altitudes. Let them cool undisturbed for 12 hours to 24 hours and check seals.

Spicy Cranberry Salsa
• 6 cups chopped red onion
• 4 finely chopped large serrano peppers
• 1½ cups water
• 1½ cups cider vinegar (five percent)
• 1 tablespoon canning salt
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• 6 tablespoons clover honey
• 12 cups (2¾ pounds) rinsed, fresh whole cranberries

This recipe is a great dip. It makes six pint jars. Gloves should be worn when handling and cutting hot peppers or wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Begin by washing canning jars. Keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

Next, combine all ingredients, except cranberries, in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat slightly and boil gently for five minutes.

Add cranberries, reduce heat slightly and simmer mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Fill the hot mixture into clean, hot pint jars, leaving a quarter-inch headspace. Leave saucepan over low heat while filling jars. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with damp paper towel and apply two-piece metal canning lids.

Process them in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Time may need to be longer at high altitudes. Let them cool undisturbed for 12 hours to 24 hours and check seals.

For more recipe and ideas, go to the Web site www.homefoodpreservation.com.

(Author Allie Byrd is a writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Communications.)
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